He’s A Woman She’s A Man (1994)

December 3, 1999 • Film, Reviews

Director Peter Chan Ho-sun earned great commercial success with this gender bending comedy, which earned Anita Yuen Wing-yee her second straight best actress trophy at the 1994 Hong Kong Film Awards. Here, Yuen stars as Wing, a gleeful girl who attends a male vocalist audition, disguised as a man, in order to meet her popstar idol, Rose. What follows are situtations worthy of a French farce, as Rose’s boyfriend, Sam, and Rose herself, each begin falling for their new protege. A fine, outrageous comedy that works on a refreshing, yet over-the-top level, He’s a Woman, She’s a Man features subtle direction by Chan, along with excellent performances by the aforementioned Yuen, Cheung and Jordan Chan, who earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Recommended for HK film fans searching for a change of pace.

Director: Peter Chan Ho-San
Script: James Yuen Sai-Sang, Lee Chi-Ngai
Producer: Peter Chan, Yun Hui, Yut-tsan Hui, Eric Tsang
Music: Clarence Hui Yuen

Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing, Anita Yuen Wing-Yee, Carina Lau Ka-Ling, Jordan Chan Siu-Chun, Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Law Kar-Ying, Jerry Lamb Hiu-Fung, Michael Tse Tin-Wah

Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese
Running Time: 106 min


• 14th Annual Hong Kong Film Awards
• Best Actress (Anita Yuen Wing-Yee)
• Best Original Song (“Chase” sung by Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing)


HAW2“[HAW] is a satire of fame, pop music, and forbidden kisses. Director Chan fleshes out the very gay world of these films with not only a galaxy of queer characters, but also endless subplots that play off the general sexual confusion.”

—Gary Morris, Bright Lights Film Journal

HAW1“In a tour-de-force gender bending performance, Anita Yuen (who won Hong Kong’s best actress award for this role) plays Chi-Wing, an obsessed fan who is desperate to meet her rock-star heroine Rose and Rose’s producer and lover Kar-Ming (played by Leslie Cheung). Chi-Wang gets her chance when Kar-Ming’s record company arranges for him to train a male singer. So what if she’s not a male singer? Cross-dressing as a man, Chi-Wang gets chosen to be the new star and begins working with Kar-Ming. Rose, however, is not happy. Chi-Wing doesn’t intend to come between her two idols; she even tries to keep them together. But instead she ends up falling in love with Kar-Ming herself. Kar-Ming in turn falls for Chi-Wing, who’s still in drag as a man, and he has to struggle with the thought that he might be gay. The gender confusion runs more than rampant in this hilarious comedy from director Peter Chan.”

—Frameline Lesbian & Gay Cinema

“He’s A Woman, She’s A Man is a classic. Peter Chan has managed to do the unexpected, creating a role-reversal comedy reminiscent of the classic Hollywood screwball comedies with a touch of HK class in it and one that is immediately endearing.”

—Ching Yee, Heroic Cinema

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